Jun 13, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie (11) pitches against the Chicago White Sox during the first inning at U.S Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Jeremy Guthrie Strikes out Nine in Royals Win

The Kansas City Royals extended their winning streak to 5 games by scoring 5 runs in the 1st inning, and Jeremy Guthrie struck out 9 to defeat the Chicago White Sox 7-2 at U.S. Cellular Field on Friday night.

The Royals opened the game with 4 consecutive singles, followed by Alex Gordon‘s double. After Salvador Perez struck out, Lorenzo Cain followed with a 2-run double.

The 5 run lead was enough for Jeremy Guthrie to cruise to his 3rd win of the season (3-6).

The Royals have surged to 34-32 on the season, and now trail Detroit by only 1.5 games in the American League Central.

On the Mound

Staked to a 5-run lead, Jeremy Guthrie lasted 5.2 innings, allowing 6 hits, 4 walks, and 2 earned runs with a season-high 9 strikeouts. Guthrie had his hard stuff on Friday night, touching 96 mph and using the high fastball to good effect.

Aaron Crow came on in the 6th inning to get a gassed Guthrie out of a 2-on, 2 out jam. He retired Gordon Beckham on a pop-up to end the threat.

Francisely Bueno pitched a clean inning in the 7th with one strikeout.

Kelvin Herrera followed with another clean inning in the 8th with one strikeout.

Tim Collins finished off the 9th without allowing a run despite opening the inning by giving up an infield single followed by a walk.

At the Plate

The Royals continued to score runs since Dale Sveum took over as batting coach on May 29. In the 14 games since, the Royals have scored 67 runs, for a healthy 4.78 runs per game—compared to their 3.78 runs per game in their first 52 games.

Omar infante led the way with a 3-5 night with 2 runs scored.

Nori Aoki went 2-4, with a single, double, walk and 2 runs scored.

Billy Butler added another 2-4 game with 2 singles, 1 run scored, and 2 RBI’s. Butler is slowly finding his stroke after a horrific opening two months. Hopefully, he’ll start driving the ball soon.

Eric Hosmer also got on base 3 times with a 1-2 day, with 1 single, 2 walks, 1 run scored, and 2 RBI’s.

This and That

Jeremy Guthrie’s victory broke an 11-start streak without a win. Guthrie recovered from a rough 1st two innings in which he gave up 2 runs and had to throw 51 pitches.

Alex Gordon made yet another outstanding diving catch on Conor Gillaspie‘s liner toward left in the 4th inning to strand two Sox baserunners in the 4th.

Alcides Escobar made a diving catch of Alexei Ramirez‘s low liner to end the bottom of the 5th that left Ramirez staring at his Kansas City counterpart.

KC Kingdom Player of the Game

Picking a player of the game is tough because no one player truly stood out over the rest of the team. The first 3 hitters in the lineup (Aoki, Infante, and Hosmer) each reached base 3 times to set the table for Billy Butler and Lorenzo Cain (2 RBI’s each). I’m going to go with Guthrie for breaking his 11-game winless streak and managing to grind through 5.2 innings despite spotty command (4 walks).

 The White Sox

Adam Eaton had the best game for Chicago, going a perfect 2-2, with 3 walks, 1 run scored and 1 RBI on the day. Eaton’s RBI came in the bottom of the 2nd on a bases-loaded walk with one out.

White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers, on the other hand, was perfectly terrible. He went 0-3 with 3 strikeouts.

Up Next

The White Sox and Royals continue their 3-game series with Chicago Saturday afternoon. The Royals will send Danny Duffy (3-5, 3.26 ERA) to the mound against Hector Noesi (2-4, 5.40 ERA) for the White Sox. Game time is 1:10 CST at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago.

Box

Royals Batting AB R H RBI BB SO PA BA OBP
Nori Aoki RF 4 2 2 0 1 0 5 .260 .322
Omar Infante 2B 5 2 3 0 0 0 5 .242 .287
Eric Hosmer 1B 2 1 1 2 2 0 5 .261 .305
Billy Butler DH 5 1 2 2 0 1 5 .257 .304
Alex Gordon LF 5 1 1 1 0 2 5 .281 .366
Salvador Perez C 4 0 1 0 1 1 5 .269 .322
Lorenzo Cain CF 5 0 1 2 0 2 5 .318 .355
Mike Moustakas 3B 4 0 0 0 0 1 4 .160 .223
Alcides Escobar SS 4 0 1 0 0 1 4 .286 .327
   Pedro Ciriaco PR-SS 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .238 .256
Team Totals 38 7 12 7 4 8 43 .316 .372

2B: A Gordon (19, off J Quintana); L Cain (9, off J Quintana); N Aoki (10, off J Quintana); A Escobar (18, off S Carroll).
SF: E Hosmer (5, off J Quintana).
TB: O Infante 3; N Aoki 3; A Gordon 2; A Escobar 2; B Butler 2; L Cain 2; S Perez; E Hosmer.
RBI: L Cain 2 (26); B Butler 2 (26); E Hosmer 2 (31); A Gordon (36).
Team LOB: 9.
With RISP: 5 for 13.

White Sox Batting AB R H RBI BB SO PA BA OBP
Adam Eaton CF 2 1 2 1 3 0 5 .259 .329
Gordon Beckham 2B 3 0 0 0 1 1 5 .291 .339
Conor Gillaspie 3B 4 0 0 0 0 0 4 .331 .380
   Paul Konerko PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .189 .233
Jose Abreu 1B 4 0 1 1 0 1 5 .264 .315
Adam Dunn DH 4 0 0 0 0 2 4 .237 .368
Alexei Ramirez SS 4 1 1 0 0 1 4 .310 .345
Dayan Viciedo RF 4 0 1 0 0 2 4 .249 .304
Alejandro De Aza LF 3 0 1 0 1 2 4 .199 .278
Tyler Flowers C 3 0 0 0 0 3 3 .256 .320
   Leury Garcia PH 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 .250 .304
Team Totals 33 2 7 2 5 12 40 .212 .325

SF: J Abreu (3, off J Guthrie).
HBP: G Beckham (3, by J Guthrie).
TB: A Eaton 2; D Viciedo; A Ramirez; L Garcia; A De Aza; J Abreu.
RBI: J Abreu (51); A Eaton (19).
Team LOB: 11.
With RISP: 0 for 9.

Royals Pitching IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA Pit Str
Jeremy Guthrie, W (3-6) 5.2 6 2 2 4 9 0 4.04 110 65
Aaron Crow, H (7) 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 3.07 1 1
Francisley Bueno 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 2.25 10 6
Kelvin Herrera 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 2.37 10 6
Tim Collins 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 4.41 24 14
Team Totals 9 7 2 2 5 12 0 2.00 155 92
White Sox Pitching IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA Pit Str
Jose Quintana, L (3-7) 6 8 6 6 1 6 0 3.98 110 69
Scott Carroll 3 4 1 1 3 2 0 4.68 69 39
Team Totals 9 12 7 7 4 8 0 7.00 179 108

Balks: None.
WP: None.
HBP: J Guthrie (8; G Beckham).
IBB: None.
Pickoffs: None.

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Tags: Jeremy Guthrie Kansas City Royals Nori Aoki Omar Infante